Tuesday’s Letters to the Editor
Embargo Russia now
EDITOR: I think that the only way to stop Vladimir Putin is for the concerned nations to impose an immediate and total embargo of trade and travel with Russia. The concerned nations should also promise to embargo any nation that works to circumvent the embargo of Russia. Stop all land, air and sea traffic with Russia: nothing in, and nothing Russian out. Maintain this embargo until every Russia serviceman, including irregulars, has left Ukraine and returned to their barracks. Sanctions are for participants who care what others think. Putin cares nothing for Western opinions.
ANGUS MAC LIR
EDITOR: I found the headline and front-page article about Dr. Sundari Mase to be offensive (“Health officer arrested in 2020,” Feb. 19). They smacked of disrespect. Was it really necessary to expose so many details of her personal life? Mase has done an exceptional job guiding Sonoma County through the twists and turns of an unpredictable pandemic. At the very least, you owe her an apology. How about a front-page article thanking Mase for her dedication and perseverance?
Helping homeless people
EDITOR: Not a week goes by without a news story reporting the assault, rape or murder of a victim by a suspect described as homeless. That comes as no surprise to me, a former police chief, and others who understand the underlying cause of chronically homelessness, which is mental illness, drug addiction or both. Efforts to provide housing for such individuals is a laudatory goal, but it is ultimately a Band-Aid approach not a solution.
Even if we could build enough housing, all we are doing is warehousing this problem, and it does not change the underlying anti-social or criminal behavior.
One questionable solution is to keep the homeless addicted, presently being initiated in drug-ridden cities like San Francisco, which seems a clear statement of defeat in addressing mental illness and drug addiction.
The best method in the long run is for the state to focus on providing the medical and rehabilitative services these individuals need rather than continuing to accommodate their addiction and mental illness by supporting their habit, hiding them away or permitting them to live in tents on our streets or in our neighborhoods, making our communities less safe for everyone, including homeless people.
Support for Engram
EDITOR: Among the issues near and dear to me are mental health and addiction services. Unfortunately, our jail is the largest mental health facility in the county. Last year, Assistant Sheriff Eddie Engram instituted a medication-assisted treatment program in the jail to assist those with addictions. Medication-assisted treatment is the use of medications, in combination with counseling and behavioral therapies, to provide a “whole patient” approach to the treatment of substance use disorders, especially opioid and meth addictions.
I worked with five different sheriffs as a county supervisor over 12 years, and worked alongside Rob Giordano during the horrible Tubbs fire and worked with Bill Cogbill to start the mobile support team for mental health. Engram has the same characteristics as Giordano and Cogbill. He is innovative, knowledgeable, compassionate and passionately cares about changes that might better the community and the people who put on badges each day. I am convinced that as our first African American sheriff candidate he will improve diversity in the department.
Eddie Engram is exactly what Sonoma County needs right now. He will make a fabulous sheriff, and I thoroughly support him.
Cotati at the forefront
EDITOR: I would like to add to the timeline of important moments in local Black history. Cotati has had two Black council members and mayors, the first of whom was probably the county’s first. William “Bill” Payne served from 1974 to 1980. Robert Coleman-Senghor served from 2008 until his sudden death in 2011. Both men were professors at Sonoma State University during the time of their service. A 4-foot-high boulder and bronze plaque in Cotati’s Veterans Park memorializes Coleman-Senghor. An archive of Payne’s political activities is available for research at the Cotati Museum inside Cotati City Hall. As Sonoma County’s smallest city, our news and history are sometimes overlooked, but we are mighty and often at the forefront of social change.
Planet needs help
EDITOR: Reading Thursday’s Press Democrat was a jarring experience. I read one article about the ever-increasing danger of wildfires around the world due to global warming (“World unprepared for ‘dramatic shift’”). In the same issue, I read that Postmaster Louis DeJoy plans to equip the U.S. Postal Service with thousands of new gas-guzzling vehicles instead of switching to an all-electric fleet (“Postal Service spurns plan for electric vehicles”). The stupidity and irresponsibility of this decision is unfathomable. We must all rise up and demand DeJoy’s ouster. The planet can’t take any more of his ilk.
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